[Willow Creek Association] 1998-03-11 - Disappointments

All verses today are from the NCV translation

Today was a day of great disappointment for me. Something I had hoped for, a dream about come true, ended today. I shook my fist at the world around me, I pouted in despair and I cried out to God, "come on Lord, this is not fair!" What I had been hoping for and was assured of does not matter. I am sure you have all had broken dreams, broken promises, and worst -- the feeling of no hope to get so close to the dream becoming reality again. So tonight I literally forced myself to open up God's Word and see what His instructions are when we are in seasons of disappointments.

Job 1: 22 In all this Job did not sin or blame God.

Are you like me? Quick to blame God when things do not turn out the way you plan or when dreams are dashed in an instant? It's ironic to me how we blame God when things go wrong, but we bask in our own glory and pride when things go right. Job had storm after storm in his life, yet he did not sin or blame God. There is a lesson in that for us.

Haggai 1:9 "You look for much, but you find little. When you bring it home, I destroy it. Why?" asks the LORD All-Powerful. "Because you all work hard for your own houses while my house is still in ruins!

In our busy world we get caught up in our own desires, our own timing and we wallow in our own self-pity and forget the desires and timing that God have for us. What the Lord is saying in Haggai is, "You people work so hard for your own selfish reasons, you build your own dreams, while you neglect My plans and My timing for your life."

Proverbs 13:12 It is sad not to get what you hoped for. But wishes that come true are like eating fruit from the tree of life.

Ah, as I read God's Word I begin to smile again. I begin to feel God's love lifting me out of self-pity and despair. His Word is like a balm to sooth my wound of dashed hopes. His Word reminds me that His timing is always perfect. This Proverb reminds me of the joys to come, and that have come in the past, when wishes did come true and prayers were answered the way I hoped they would be, or in the time frame that suited me.

Romans 5:3-5 We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.

Easier said than done, but I do know this, if we wallow around in our own self-pity and don't turn to God for answers, we will remain defeated Christians and ineffective Christians. Satan will have us where he wants us. He wants us to not be effective for Christ. Where do we find God's answers? I found mine tonight in His Word. It's all in the Book. We have to buck up and do our part. Pray for His guidance and His wisdom, seek out His truth in His Word. And remember our God is a God of hope : ) Don't ever lose that hope.

Dear Lord, thank You for revealing Yourself to us in Your Word. Thank You for laying out practical principles for us to live by. Thank you for reminding us of Your unwavering love for us. Forgive us when we sin by grumbling, and when we get caught up in our own timing, our own plans and forget that Your plan and Your timing are always perfect. We praise You for being a patient God who loves us unconditionally. We pray in Christ's name, Amen.